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Aeronautical Engineering Major

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Aeronautical Engineering

1,715 Master's Degrees Annually
372 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#80 in Popularity (Master's)
$117,100 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Aeronautical Engineering Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many aerospace and aeronautical engineering graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 1,715
Doctor’s Degree 372
Graduate Certificate 76

What Aeronautical Engineering Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to aerospace engineering and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Aerospace Engineering Majors

Aerospace Engineering majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills for Aerospace Engineering Majors

aerospace engineering majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Aerospace Engineering Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a aerospace engineering student include the following:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

What Can You Do With a Aeronautical Engineering Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with aerospace engineering:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Aerospace Engineers 6.0% $115,220
Architectural and Engineering Managers 5.5% $140,760
Engineering Professors 14.7% $101,720

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering?

1,715 Master's Degrees Annually
18% Percent Women
21% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major attracts more men than women. About 82% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of aerospace engineering majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Aerospace Engineering Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 150
Black or African American 31
Hispanic or Latino 125
White 907
International Students 405
Other Races/Ethnicities 97

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Aerospace Engineering, too. About 23.6% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • India
  • China
  • South Korea
  • Malaysia
  • France

How Much Do Aeronautical Engineering Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in aerospace engineering was $87,000 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $84,350 (25th percentile) and $88,775 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to aerospace engineering.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $113,680 to $148,970 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to aerospace engineering. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an Aeronautical Engineering Major  ( 113680 to 148970 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with aerospace engineering require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for aerospace engineering careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 3.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 46.7%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 4.9%
Master’s Degree 27.1%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 3.4%
Doctoral Degree 11.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 3.4%

Online Aeronautical Engineering Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 87 schools offered some type of aerospace and aeronautical engineering program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 3 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 0 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 1 1
Bachelor’s Degree 4 2
Post-Baccalaureate 3 0
Master’s Degree 66 21
Post-Master’s 5 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 48 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 1 0

Is a Degree in Aeronautical Engineering Worth It?

The median salary for a aerospace engineering grad is $117,100 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 193% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,544,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to aerospace engineering.

Major Number of Grads
Electrical Engineering 12,934
Mechanical Engineering 9,668
Civil Engineering 6,961
Computer Engineering 5,021
Biomedical Engineering 4,057
General Engineering 3,449
Industrial Engineering 3,359
Chemical Engineering 2,897
Systems Engineering 2,639
Materials Engineering 1,863
Other Engineering 1,859
Operations Research 1,273
Environmental Engineering 1,117
Petroleum Engineering 537
Engineering Science 451
Nuclear Engineering 440
Manufacturing Engineering 412
Agricultural Engineering 338
Robotics Engineering 333
Construction Engineering 312
Engineering Physics 282
Architectural Engineering 247
Polymer & Plastics Engineering 205
Geoscience Engineering 176
Engineering Mechanics 168
Ocean Engineering 154
Mining Engineering 142
Textile Engineering 106
Biological Engineering 63
Metallurgical Engineering 51
Marine Engineering 48
Ceramic Engineering 30
Surveying Engineering 21
Electromechanical Engineering 17
Paper Science & Engineering 9
Biochemical Engineering 6
Forest Engineering 0

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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